Richly illustrated with team photographs over more than 100 years, this is a fascinating piece of social history based around one of the oldest rugby clubs in the country. Providing moving accounts of club members who lost their lives in the two World Wars, this is an important and fascinating history of a club that has retained a strong community focus. --The Bookbag
From the Author
This book started life in 2002 as a page on the website of a Clifton under-8s side. It was meant to be a short history and a list of the players who had gone on to international status. Everything was taken from the Centenary book; memorabilia was collected from various sources and the website page was expanded until it was too big and needed its own website. To this were added photographs and documents from the club, principally donated by the Clifton players Ellison Fuller Eberle, Gilbert Castle and Tom Burroughs. At a later date the scrapbooks and photographs of Victor Fuller Eberle were donated by his son Admiral Sir James Fuller Eberle. Relatives of former players started contacting me in 2003. Richard Savory was the first; his grandfather played for Clifton from 1908 to 1920. Fortuitously, many of the descendants of those listed on the War Memorial would provide photographs. It was intended to remain only a website until Richard Hale suggested it would make an interesting book. From that point it took another four years to become reality. The website is now one of the largest and most comprehensive rugby club history websites in the world.
The history of Clifton Rugby Club holds a unique place in the history of Bristol. It is the oldest surviving rugby club in Bristol with links to one of the most famous schools in the country, Clifton College.
The History of Clifton Rugby Club has been written in three books so far. The first in 1909, "History of Clifton Rugby Football Club 1872-1909" - by Frank C Hawkins, gave a year-by-year account of the club. The 1922 edition was an extended version of the 1909 book, renamed "50 Years with the Clifton Football Club". In 1972 the Centenary Year was commemorated by a book called "100 Years with Clifton Rugby Football Club". With all this work already done, it was difficult to know what new and interesting facts could be recorded.
In this book we have consciously tried not to replicate previous histories of the club. We have concentrated on the its origins - the Founders, the Internationals, the Oxford and Cambridge Blues, the names on the War Memorial and the players and events that have changed the club post-1972, as well as elaborating on what had already been written.
The cover of this book is taken from a postcard of 2 boys kicking a rugby ball over posts at Clifton College. It is postmarked Bristol 22nd April 1904.
It is appropriate that this season, 2009-2010, is the 100th anniversary of Gloucestershire winning the County Championship for the first time in their history.
Patrick Casey, August 2009